Photo: Publik16 (Flickr)
Indiana State Police figures show the number of gun permits in the state increased by 89,000 between 2012 and 2013. More than 537,000 Hoosiers now hold a permit, including more than 81,000 in Monroe County.
Gary Butcher is the owner of Leathers Limited Firearms in Bloomington. He says the rise in permits is an effect of all the gun violence and deaths that have occurred over the past year.
“People started realizing that there was a great need in this country due to crime, due to negligence and people not having remorse for what they’re doing to other people to actually start caring enough about a live, loaded firearm to protect themselves and those they love,” Butcher says.
But Butcher says he would like to see political leaders implement a stronger system of background checks implemented to ensure people buying guns know how to use them.
Legislators are divided on the political spectrum of their stance on gun violence throughout the state of Indiana.
Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly says individuals with criminal records or serious mental illnesses can exploit loopholes in the current system.
In a written statement, Donnelly says, “I am a supporter of the Second Amendment, and by improving our background check system, curbing illegal gun trafficking, and strengthening law enforcement efforts, I think we can better protect both Hoosier families and the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”
A spokesperson for the Indiana State Police says they’ve had to hire five additional staffers to handle the higher volume of gun permit applications.